President’s Message December 2012

Published: November 2012

Dashing off a note
To keep you all apprised
O’er the year(end) we go
Oh my! How the time does fly!

yes, there’s a reason I’m a technical communicator and NOT a poet… however, lots to share with you. Let’s get started:


First, our 2013 Programming is coming together.
January: Structured Authoring* or Information Architecture* with Tom Magliery of JustSystems
February: SEO with Melissa Mewdell of City of Vancouver
March: Graphic Design with Dragos Vuia of City of Vancouver
April: Help Authoring* Tools and Techniques (likely going to be a webinar with Neil Perlin)
May: Instructional Design or Technical Editing
June – normally, we don’t have a program night in June but we’re open to being convinced otherwise. It might be fun to have all local presenters and do a progression (4 or 5 presenters stay put and present 15-minute sessions to attendees who change tables to hear different topics). Or, we might combine that idea with the Volunteer Appreciation Event! :-)

Professional Development Opportunities

Early March: Professional Development seminar with Bernard Aschwanden of Publishing Smarter
Early June: Professional Development seminar on Madcap Flare: a workshop session, led by Catherine Girczyc and Beth Haggerty.
* These are lead-in sessions designed to spark interest and raise enrollment at the workshops to follow, about 6 weeks after the Program nights. Enough time to let people find the money to sign up, not too far in advance to allow the glow to wear off.
Bernard can present on a number of different topics. To assess interest and pick the topic of most interest to our audience, we have created a Survey to test the waters. Please click here to take survey right now: - it will only take you two minutes to fill it out and you’ll be helping to ensure a successful workshop for your chapter… even if you don’t attend!


If you belong to our Yammer network, check out the wireframes that Aaron posted. There is exciting work underway for our new website and much of our current content is being edited. We also plan to have a lot of fresh new content – news – that will be supplied by or facilitated by our Web Editors. Currently, these editors are:
Open, Editor-in-Chief (Aaron Fultz pro tempore)
- Moderates posts
- Checks style
- Liaises with fundraising coordinator for advertising opportunities
- Writes a monthly post: Recap of key blog posts from the past month
- Writes or facilitates four special features a year (for months with five weeks)
- Conducts CMS training
- Backup for department editors

Sam Wink, Design Editor
- Finds photos as requested
- Organizes and manages photo and graphics database
- Creates graphics as requested

Open, Happenings Editor (Mellissa Ruryk pro tempore)
- Writes or facilitates a monthly post (Week 1): Upcoming chapter news and events for the month ahead
- Writes or facilitates other posts (e.g., chapter event follow-ups, as well as STC and community news and events)

Autumn Jonssen, Spotlights Editor
- Writes or facilitates a monthly post (Week 2): Member spotlight
- Writes or facilitates other posts (e.g., non-member and speaker spotlights, other STC chapter spotlights, and community interest spotlights)
- Follow key blogs and sites related to your subject area.

Jacob De Camillis, Career Development Editor
- Writes or facilitates a monthly post (Week 3): Career related topics
- Writes or facilitates other posts (e.g., hot jobs, economic news, new education programs, topics beyond techcom etc.)
- Follow key blogs and sites related to your subject area.

Open, TechComm Editor (Aaron Fultz pro tempore)
- Writes or facilitates a monthly post (Week 4): Feature posts on the latest trends and technologies in techcom
- Writes or facilitates other posts (e.g., technology news, book reviews, product releases, etc.)
- Follow key blogs and sites related to your subject area.
If you would like to volunteer in one of these editor roles (time commitment: ~5 hours a month), please email or call Aaron or me asap. We’re going to post all content on the old site until the new one is ready to launch, so we need to start writing right now!
(And if you’re not on our Yammer network, send .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) an email requesting access. It’s the best way to keep up to date with all the chapter news, and minimize your inbox clutter!)

Logo Ideas

In conjunction with the launch of the new website, we’ll be looking to freshen up our own looks somewhat. STC Canada West Coast has had a couple of different looks but now it’s time to burst forth in colour… in all our glory. Think yellow, red, blue – strong primary colours that are found in our provincial flag. We’ve had blue tints with lots of white… how about bringing in green for the forest and white for the paper we write on?
We would like any aspiring artists (graphic or otherwise) to sit and think about what our chapter means to them. How to express who we are and what we do without using words? There are many different facets to being a technical communicator; we are the West Coast chapter (not just the Vancouver chapter)… our province is diverse and filled with abundant natural resources, such as trees, metals, water and fish. Then there’s the coast and coastlines… mountains and ocean. Did I mention trees? We have sacrificed a few of those in our quest for employment… let’s honour that sacrifice and incorporate a tree in our logo.

Chapter Achievement Award

We are gearing up to submit this application in mid-January. Judy Holt has been working away on the application in the background, and it is shaping up to be a pretty comprehensive report on all chapter activities since last June. Executives: you are warned: there will be some editing to be done early in the new year. This is step one of winning a Community of Distinction Award… the activities noted in the application form have given us volunteers and the executive a framework for applying our efforts and creativity this year. When Aaron picks up the leadership baton in June of next year, he will have the luxury of being able to follow through on the plans we started this year. (Knowing Aaron, that won’t stop him from coming up with one or two Brilliant Ideas in addition to those listed on the application form!)

Christmas Cheer & Holiday Wishes

I’m sure the Executive joins me in wishing you all the best in this holiday season. Whether you celebrate the Winter Solstice, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa or Ramadan… the sentiment is the same: love and tolerance, peace on Earth.

If you can join us, we will be meeting this Tuesday, December 11 at Piknik Restaurant downtown at 1075 Howe Street, from about 7 pm to 9 pm. Please, feel free to bring a friend, co-worker, spouse (but not your dog. If Saxon can’t come with me, no one else can bring their furry friends either!). I sincerely hope some of our newer members (membership is up to 121 at last count) will be able to come and let us get to know you.
At a cost of $10, there will be food to snack on, and a variety of drinks for purchase. Dress is casual… Mostly we want to celebrate all the hard work that’s been put in so far this year. I especially want to thank my executive members for their support and their dedication to the chapter.

Society News

Summit 2013 registration is now open:

Please let me know if you’re planning to attend. We need to do something fun with all the Canadians down there and it might need a bit of planning.

Time is running out! Renew your STC membership NOW to save in 2013.

STC presents three live Web seminars next week: Using YouTube Videos to Enhance “Traditional” Documentation, How Writers Can Thrive in Agile Software Development, and What’s a MOOC? Exploring the Possibilities of Massive Open Online Learning. Finish up your year with live education from some of STC’s top minds!

Using YouTube Videos to Enhance “Traditional” Documentation
Presented by Fer O’Neil and Ben Johnson
Tuesday, 11 December, 1:00-2:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

The way users consume information is becoming increasingly visual. Technical communicators can address this need and increase user satisfaction by creating video tutorials. Ben and Fer will present some best practices at HP and ESET for choosing topics, creating, sharing, promoting, and measuring the success of video tutorials in YouTube.

How Writers Can Thrive in Agile Software Development
Presented by Gavin Austin
Wednesday, 12 December, 1:00-2:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Many writers are trying to figure out how to meet deadlines, write quality documentation, and stay sane as their software companies switch from the traditional “waterfall” method of development to the popular Agile methodology. Learn strategies and best practices to help you thrive as a writer in an Agile environment.

What’s a MOOC? Exploring the Possibilities of Massive Open Online Learning
Presented by Phylise Banner
Thursday, 13 December, 4:00-5:00 PM EST (GMT-5)

Have you heard about the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) movement in online learning? This webinar will explore the design, development, and delivery approaches of a variety of MOOCs, while highlighting the instructional theory, design, and technology approaches behind these large-scale learning initiatives. Learn how to leverage the benefits of the MOOC approach to meet the needs of your professional learning community.

Editor’s Association of BC

Early Bird rates still available (to December 21) for EAC-BC Seminar, Saturday, January 12, 2013 (9 AM - 4 PM) @ SFU Harbour Centre. The topic EDITING FICTION is to be presented by Instructor: Caroline Adderson. More info/Registration here:


If I don’t see you at the event in December, please accept my wishes for a happy, joyous and safe holiday. See you in the New Year!

2012/13 Executives

Your chapter leadership team always welcomes contact from chapter members, volunteers and friends.
President - Mellissa Ruryk (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Vice President – Aaron Fultz (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Secretary - Rob Hughes (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Treasurer - Mary Metzger (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Past President - Pam Drucker (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Volunteer Coordinator/Director at Large - Heather Sommerville (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Employer Outreach – Autumn Jonssen (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Independent Contractors SIG – Linda Farnworth (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Job Bank – Mary Metzger – (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Membership Coordinator – Dawn Stewart (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Programs – Samantha Wink (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))
Public Relations – Moise Potié – (.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address))

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